tv Dateline London BBC News December 25, 2016 2:30am-3:01am GMT
the latest headlines from bbc news. i'm lebo diseko. donald trump says he intends to dissolve his controversial charitable organisation to avoid the appearance of any conflict of interest during his presidency. mrtrump said he would pursue his interest in philanthropy in other ways. israel's prime minister benjamin netanyahu says his country will re—assess its ties with the united nations. he was speaking a day after the security council passed a resolution demanding a halt to israeli settlement—building on occupied palestinian land. pope francis has celebrated a christmas eve mass for thousands of worshippers at the vatican amid heavy security. pope francis denounced the suffering of children, saying the world should be challenged by the sight of children crying with hunger or child soldiers holding weapons rather than toys. now on bbc news, it's time for the dateline london review of 2016 with gavin esler. hello and welcome to our year in
review edition of dateline london. what a year it has been. brexit, donald trump's victory, the rise of populist movements, the migrant crisis, wars across the middle east and the possibility of a new cold war in europe. our top team of year end reviewers are alexander nekrassov, a russian writer and former kremlin adviser, janet daley of the sunday telegraph, mina al—oraibi who is an iraqi journalist. and thomas kielinger of die welt. well, in britain, across europe and in the united states it has been a tumultuous year. the brexit vote, donald trump's victory, political turmoil in france, italy and elsewhere. all have shown countries divided within themselves. scotland, post—industrial areas of northern england and the prosperous parts of london
at times appeared to regard each other as incomprehensible. trump and clinton voters often seemed to belong notjust to different states but different visions of the united states. how significant has 2016 been in terms of these major political events? the deep social and cultural divisions between so—called populist movements and their critics. i mean, that has been the story of most of the big democracies. really big divisions, hasn't it? yes, and your word, incomprehensible... clinton's word, despicable might be more to the point. deplorable. i beg your pardon. and irredeemable, that was a particularly awful word to use. there is something in common in all these, the populist movements in europe, and the divisions in america. and that is a sense that a huge swathe of the population, the majority in the case of the united states, in electoral terms anyway,
feels that they are completely left out of the discussion. they are completely left out of the dialogue and this is a much bigger problem than just the immediate electoral consequences. this is a post—industrial problem. the people who have been left behind by the globalisation of the economy and particularly the globalisation of labour, which is to say, kind of, nomadic tribes of labour. particularly young potential employment moving around the world at the behest of global interest has left indigenous populations, working—class populations feeling completely unrepresented. the thing about that is... it is a story of 2016 but it has been in the making for decades actually. and we have not noticed it. journalists, elites, others. for decades and more acutely in the making since the financial crisis which ushered in an era of austerity which made those left out millions even more left out. i'm glad you mentioned the economy. part of the social cleavage has to do with the economy. people feel... it was called the left out millions.
i came across a funny, rather unsettling statistic the other day. it illustrates your point. the american ceos in 1965 earned about 20 times as much as their average employee but now it is 296 times. if you look at it from a productivity point view, productivity since 48 grew by 96% and wages went up similarly. productivity since 1973 has gone 71% but wages have only increased by 11%. there is a big discrepancy. economic fortunes, which people rise up against. they're not going to take it anymore. it is to do with the importing of cheap labour and the mobility of cheap labour. almost insoluble in the present frame of reference. i can't see a political solution to that. partly it is labour but partly it is automation.
there was a statistic also that in the us, of the jobs that were lost, four out of five were due to automation. rather than actually cheap labour. unfortunately, very few people talk about that because nobody wants to push back against technological advances and you can understand why. this problem will continue to increase as long as we don't hold companies to account. and rather say, yes, we have issues to do with migration and shifts, but it is to do with technological advancement and the way the economy is changing. cheap labour and robots and the indigenous working classes of these countries have been squeezed out. we will see uber uberised! the drivers may lose theirjobs within a decade. they have said they are looking at automatic drivers in san francisco. the whole discussion, illegal, legal?
so forth. i want to go back to the point you started with, the idea of populism. looking back over 2016. an mp was killed in the uk in broad daylight. jo cox. the first time since 1990. and i think because we are based out of london, the uk, the reflection about the violence towards populism, i think it is a good thing that people feel that they can use elections to make their voice heard. because if they cannot, they will resort to violent means. and i really do think this was a turning point in the case of the uk in 2016, is that we've had an mp killed. and the year of terrorism in various ways. we'll come onto that. in terms of populism, that is also going to be the story of next year, isn't it? i think, first of all, that this year will be remembered for the deep, deep crisis of liberalism which came to a head. we are witnessing the crumbling of liberalism and neoliberalism with all the consequences, cultural, economic, fiscal, everything. and when we talk about the economy, we've entered the stage of virtual economy.
and this stage is not accepted by people. you were talking about uber. uber is a virtual economy company. it does not create anything, it destroys. just like many online companies. the people have rebelled against the dominant role of the middleman. the middleman rules in the virtual economy. not creators. production companies. that is why we're seeing this impact of the financial crash which is not gone away. it is still here. and it is clashing with this virtual economy, pushing people out ofjobs. making them basically slave labour because, let's face it, what is a zero hour contract? it is slave labour in a developed nation. i find it remarkable that some people say, well, it is a flexible
way of working. it is not. it is basically the dominance of slave labour over the new relations. i don't think slaves get paid normally. it is casual labour under another term. casual labour was made illegal in effect in this country and the zero hours contract is just the reinvention of casual labour. some talk of wage slaves, though, don't they? that is metaphorical. the point is, the crisis of what you're describing as productive labour is the crisis of manufacturing. manufacturing is now being done by robots, basically. and will be done more by robots in the future. there is no point in trying to hold that back. that is the future. what happens to all those people, miners, steelworkers, car manufacturers, who can't actually be taught to be computer coders in the future? this is a cultural, political, social, economic crisis. it is a slow—moving one but a crisis nonetheless. the other aspect, you touched on our political discourse on both
sides of the atlantic that has become extremely nasty. people who vote one way are called remoaners, others are called leftards. the kind of things people say about other people they disagree with is quite nasty and on the fringes of that we get various kinds of terrorism including in germany this week. we have this cleavage. society nowadays are falling into binary templates. yes, no. each other accusing each other of deplorable attitudes and so on, that is going to be with us for some time. i wonder whether we should call it populism. the populist uprising against the old order comes from deep social inequalities. economic equalities and if on top of the world we're discussing... governments also continue with austerity, cutting back public services, you've got a revolution in the making. people ask, what does the government do for me? they're already asking.
absolutely. theresa may next year, other than brexit, has a huge problem on her hands, how to get britain working again and how to get people to earn a living wage. a living wage that can pay your costs and your bills. that is the biggest problem. in addition to that, the rising levels of youth unemployment that we now almost take granted. the fact that spain has stumbled in trying to form a government or have policy that actually functions, has youth unemployment of about 25%. this acceptance that oh, we have these young people and they can either be on casual hours, flexi—time, whatever, most of the time this is just disguised unemployment. that needs a solution, because after the financial crisis, banks were seen as too big to fail but not communities. communities is a crucial word because communities used to be built around a local workplace — the local coal mine, local steelworks, the local automotive plant,
and it is notjust the job that has lost, it is the whole sense of the continuity. virtual economy... i was talking about the fact that we have manufacturing companies basically going down, losing markets and so on. and yet the stock on the stock exchange is going up. why? because governments pump new printed money into markets. not into the economy. that is the virtual economy. that is what i was talking about. share price goes up. the governments are supporting the markets, not the economy. that is such a crucial mistake of a virtual economy and as regards the online companies, they are basically destroying the economy. they are not creating the economy. i would not say all of them... 0nline companies can create wealth. just because you cannot manufacture things does not mean that you do not create wealth. you can create new kinds of transactions and communications. the problem is, in this economy britain is now 70% a service economy.
the service economy generally does not produce anything. neitherjobs, nor wealth, nor anything. that is important. but it does generate wealth. we have to take into account that now you have millennials who do not want to keep the same job for 30 years. just because their father did a particularjob... their mother... we have to accept that there are those changes but the key issue is what thomas raised. wealth gaps are increasing. people at the very top continue to make more money. this is about being liberated, you don't have to be a coal miner because your father was. there are people who wanted to be coal miners and they do not have the possibility any longer. continuity. the fathers expecting the son to follow them down the pits or whatever. the choices, you have to become a nomadic international bit of a labour force that is being flung all over the world at the behest of capital enterprises. that breakdown of community is very serious. let's move on because the wars and divisions in syria, yemen and iraq are all fuelled by very serious local resentments
but also by something which is intractable. the rivalry between saudi arabia and iran plus other powers exerting considerable influence. can we say that 2016 has proved to be a good year for iran? a nuclear deal with the united states, expanding influence in iraq and the consolidation of the assad regime in damascus. it has been a good year for tehran, hasn't it? i think 2015 was even a better year. they struck the deal then and was very little heat on iran from what was happening in syria, iraq... with the 0bama presidency ending there will be much tougher questions. donald trump suggesting 2017 is not going to be comfortable for iran. indeed. but also, in 2016 iran lost at least 1,000 soldiers in syria. they are losing many in iraq also. it is good for the reigning regime in terms of politically, for sure, they come out stronger in the region than others. turkey had an attempted coup on the presidency. so forth. they come out stronger
in the region. but challenges rose this year. domestically there are key problems because the economy is not picking up as fast as they promised people out of the nuclear deal. and there are deep divisions that we will see rising in 2017 as we gear up to elections. i would say, however, that for iran's long—term prosperity, they need stability in their region and definitely that has not come about this year. a good year for putin? almost everybody agrees. it is a good year for putin in the sense that hillary clinton did not win the election. let's put it this way. i think there is some potential in trump working with putin and maybe the middle east will benefit from that. because we had a situation that was absolutely impossible to have a proper good impact on the middle east when america basically had a stand—off with russia. now, as regards putin's future, we might say this year was good for him. i think he will face enormous
challenges next year on the basis of this year because the economy is not doing well in russia. and whatever happens in syria, whatever happens all over the world, for putin, the main crunch will be solving the ukraine crisis and the economy. and the signs are not good for both. i am always shocked when i hear it has been a good year for putin. it is been a horrific year for the people of syria to begin with and putin, russia, would have had it in their power to do something in the united nations security council to stop the bloodshed and arrange a coalition to talk about future of syria. putin has continually blocked all efforts in new york to bring the fighting parties in syria to heal and get to to begin the negotiations. and i think that refusal to work in a positive way and constructive way for an end is the biggest blame that i can attach to putin.
this game, in order to safeguard his influence in the area, he sacrificed thousands of people for his big power politics and establishing a hold. i'm sure a good year for putin is a horrible year for syria. and iran also is part of that. putin has done the grand slam this year. he has become what forbes magazine described as the most powerful man on the planet for the third year running. he's now the chief actor in the middle east because america simply backed away because there was no leadership from the west to give him a contest. and so now he perhaps is stuck. i think he has wedged himself into a position of tremendous power in the region but in trouble at home. still stuck with the fact that his economy is absolutely dependent on the oil price but diverting attention from the economic problems
at home by this new imperial move abroad. can i suggest one of the reasons 2017 could be a good year for putin is that the eu is in absolute disarray, isn't it? good news? i don't think he benefits because russia does need a strong european union, strong europe, for trade. le pen? why does russia back marine le pen? i don't think russia backs le pen. she has no chance of winning. why would they back a loser? all this talk of russia supporting right wing movements, it has got nothing to do with the real politics of what is going on. they are supporting erdogan... they're very keen, in spite of the terrorist incidents, to get turkey on side to pull turkey away from the nato sphere of influence and to get a foothold. erdogan is going conveniently in the russian direction and becoming less interested in human rights, more dictatorial, playing
into putin's hands. do you actually believe that russia thinks that a nato member would become a close friend of moscow? they are behaving as if they do. i think it is more tactical. tactical move from erdogan to appear closer. everybody is playing tactics. he does not have any intention of ever leaving nato, but at the same time he realises in the middle east... because of the disengagement... it was standing back, taking a step forward, taking two steps back and confusing their allies in the region and that has been one of the issues. iran had a better year than arab allies that banked on the us because at least for iran there was much more clarity. talking about good and bad years i would suggest it has been a very bad year for the european union. this is what i meant to say when you are talking, asking alexander
about the interests of putin and a weaker europe. the weaknesses in europe also stem from the unsolved problem in the middle east. putin is causing ever more refugees to be shipped and migrate to other parts of europe which would increase instability in the west. actually, it leads onto the last question as to whether or not there is a cold war in europe? i do not see another. the west is far too weak to present a solid front that it used to have. it is struggling to come to terms with its own crisis. 2017 will not see the end of that. the case for a cold war. we discussed this before. for there being some kind of new cold war in this continent of ours, is ukraine, which you have pointed out is a matter of great sensitivity to russia. as you know, the baltic nations, sweden for example is reinforcing islands in the baltic that they withdrew troops from 25 years ago. it is doing extraordinary things. real sensitivities in the baltic
states as well so how do you see the relations between putin and the west, particularly nato? relations between putin and the west will be terrible because nato is not only closing to the borders, it is actually increasing military presence right on the border and anyone who knows the real situation in europe would laugh at the assumption that russia is planning to attack the baltics or poland 01’ anybody else in europe. hadn‘t russian generals thought aloud about the possibility of, i'm quoting here, a limited nuclear war in europe not to be unthinkable? when nato is moving troops to the russian border, of course there will be noises made about nuclear weapons and so on. but the point of the matter is that the west has crossed the line in ukraine. this was going to... the west has crossed the line? of course it does!
russia has annexed crimea! excuse me, it has encouraged a coup, basically, in kiev. and suddenly we see history been divided. we are told... crimea was annexed. we forget what happened in kiev 2014. it elected a government. you don't have governments being overthrown in europe, elected governments, and then everybody says, well, it is just popular uprising, when it was funded and encouraged by western governments. i would leave that to history to determine who is behind the development in ukraine. i am more worried about western europe not only being unstable because of the crisis that is has not come to terms with but also splintering from america. the old axis of stability which meant the american nuclear... europe is unstable because liberalism has collapsed. liberal governments are no longer effective. excuse me, you can see it with
brexit, you can see it with trump, you can see it with all these movements. the complacent liberal hegemony is what has given rise to all these right—wing populist movements. if the liberal governments had been more attentive to their own populations and the disenchantment, detachment, alienation of their own populations, we would not be in this situation. exactly. you are making my point. we won't agree on that but with just a few minutes left, why has the left in europe, in particular, but also in north america and the philippines, why has the left been so weak? i think we've moved beyond the age of ideological dichotomy. left or right no longer seems to be... no, no, no. there are left and right. protest movements on both wings, which come together on the populism level, so the left really has nowhere to go. it is the centre—left that is the problem. it is the centre—left,
the germany of the centre—left. they actually thought that the argument was over. the argument was won. as a result, they became so ridiculously complacent. all they were talking about, all clinton was talking about was identity politics. glass ceilings for women and social minorities and gay marriage and these are issues that you talk about when you've got nothing else to say. and they're not relating to economic reality of most people's lives. i think in addition to that there is the issue of people becoming much more focused on issue—based questions. rather political allegiances. like referendums for example. referendums have not helped this case at all. many people voted for trump because it was that particular issue that they cared about. whether it was economics, migration, or building a wall with mexico. that is what they voted for. to have somebody that represents the republican party who was not a republican says a lot. we are missing one important point.
the left has mismanaged the economy for a good decade. and now we see the results of that. the economies are mismanaged in britain and america and france and germany, everywhere. and that is why repercussions are that people are fed up with this. you have to run your economy properly and then you can talk about social issues, families, equal rights and so on. the leftjust decided to forget the economy and talk about social issues only. i think the wrong idea is about the economy. money printing, quantitative easing as it was called, is a way of solving... that was a disaster. it was a short—term disaster. it had to be done in order to save us from collapse. it has become indefinite. i think we've agreed that all this crisis has removed the old certainty of left and right sort of dichotomy. the left and right are distinctly different. completely.
can i ask round the table? would you be glad to see the back of 2016? i'm speaking for many of our viewers who think, my goodness... 2017 may be worse! come on, it will be better. i think it is time we forget 2016, honestly. too much... the anniversary of the russian revolution. that will give you something to look forward to. the uncertainty of 2016, we need to forget it because it was dangerous. 0ne certainty about russia and 2016 was the discovery of cheating in the olympic games and russia has had her application for the olympic games withdrawn. at least this revelation gives me a lot of comfort that the cheats of the world are being called off and called out... russia needs to leave the olympic movement because it is corrupt and it needs to stop. russia is a corrupt partner in this.
all countries are involved in this. we don't have the time to go through all sporting corruption. football as well! the huge uncertainty at the start of 2017 is, what is trump really about? he has so many generals he begins to look like a hunter! but on the other hand he has appointed somebody as secretary of state who is supposedly a great friend of putin. how is that going to work? and ifjohn bolton is going to be number two in the state department is it going to be hard cop, soft cop? i don't understand the thinking behind it. you throw us perfectly to next week's programme! looking forward to 2017! that is it for the year review edition of dateline london. you can comment on the programme on twitter, @gavinesler, and engage with our guests and they will argue back, i can promise you. we will be back next time at the same time with indeed our look ahead to the delights of 2017. goodbye. christmas day weather wise will be
dominated by the feel of the weather. a mild christmas tea in prospect, breezy for all of us and there will be some rain in store. cloudy grey dull start and it will stay like that for most of england and wales. quite windy but mild for all with 11— 1a degrees the high. the rain continues to push its way out of the borders of scotland into the north of england through the night. she was following on behind some of them turning wintry. it is pressure m oves some of them turning wintry. it is pressure moves away storm cover it looks as though the is where we will see the strongest of the winds
across the extreme north of scotland. an amber weather warning has been issued. some showers turned wintry in the north. in england and wales will be dry and sunny with a breezy day, a fresher feel on boxing day. welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. my name is lebo diseko. our top stories: donald trump says he will dissolve his controversial charitable foundation to avoid any conflicts of interest. israel's prime minister orders a review of his country's relationship with the united nations after a vote condemning settlement building. in his christmas message, pope francis denounces the suffering of children around the world as security is tight at the vatican. and hard—rocking status quo guitarist rick parfitt has died at the age of 68.